Doctors: Malpractice Costs the Biggest Money-Saver in Tort Reform

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OldRegular, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    Many physicians and Republican lawmakers are asking why the president wants to test "demonstration projects" when reforms have already proven successful on the state level.*

    FOXNews.com
    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Many physicians and Republican lawmakers were happy to hear President Obama raise the issue of medical malpractice in his address to Congress last week, but now are asking why the president wants to test "demonstration projects" when reforms have already proven successful on the state level.
    "Whole states are demonstration projects," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. "Texas passed tort reform in 2003 and ... insurance premiums went down 30 percent. California passed tort reform and premiums went down 40 percent. Let's enact tort reform. Let's not just try that with demonstration projects. We already know it works. Let's put it into law."

    During his address to a joint session of Congress, the president argued that some lawmakers will resist any health care reforms. But then in a bid at bipartisanshop, he said he agreed with doctors -- and Republicans -- looking for changes to the way medical malpractice lawsuits are litigated.

    "I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs," the president said.**

    Smith said Texas has already proven the effect of tort reform on medical care.
    When Texas passed tort reforms in 2003, medical malpractice insurance premiums went down and doctors started rushing back into the state. At least 10 counties that had zero obstetricians, for instance, now have one, and more than two dozen other counties have seen additional obstetricians seek licenses there. *
    "We now have women that are getting their care in local communities whereas before, for their obstetric care, they had to drive hundreds of miles to be able to get it," said James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association.*"Before the reforms, there was such a shortage of obstetricians, many expectant mothers had to drive long distances for care. The liability reforms changed that."*

    Many doctors pay $100,000 to $250,000 a year in malpractice insurance even if they've never had a judgment against them. Neurology leads the list of high-cost malpractice insurance. Obstetrics isn't far behind.

    More at:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/200...actice-costs-biggest-money-saver-tort-reform/
     
  2. Winman

    Winman
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,768
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trial lawyers are the single biggest donor to the Democratic Party and have been for many years.

    Here is portion of a short article from way back in 2000 showing the disparity between what trial lawyers gave to the Democrats that year compared to the Republican party.

    OK, in 1999 the trial lawyers gave $2,700,000 to the Democrats, only $2,800 to the Republicans.

    Now you know why the original 1,200 page bill written by the Democrats did not contain even one word about tort reform or malpractice.
     
  3. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    June 1, 2005
    High cost of malpractice insurance threatens supply of ob/gyns, especially in some urban areas. UMHS study finds premium rates affect where ob/gyns choose to practice; could have major impact on urban areas

    http://www.med.umich.edu/opm/newspage/2005/obgyn.htm
    *
    ANN ARBOR, MI - The high cost of malpractice insurance for some medical specialties affects not only how many doctors are entering the field of obstetrics and gynecology, but also where they offer their widely needed obstetric, prenatal and gynecological care, according to new University of Michigan Health System research.

    Their study, published in the June issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, gives a foreboding prognosis for the supply of doctors specializing in the field because of the rising costs of malpractice premiums.
    “The high cost of malpractice premiums is beginning to lead providers to drop or reduce obstetrical services. Our study presented evidence that high malpractice premiums affect where new obstetricians are locating and it may affect the supply in the future,” says Scott B. Ransom, D.O., M.B.A., M.P.H., associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the U-M Medical School and of health management and policy at the U-M School of Public Health, and the senior author of the paper.

    “Our study shows that there is legitimate reason for concern about patients' access to obstetric care and prenatal care in the future,” he says.
    Some of the potential problem areas include states with the highest malpractice premiums, including Florida, Nevada, Michigan, New York , and the District of Columbia. Researchers also found signs for problematic future supply of obstetricians in several counties containing populous cities, such as Dade County, Fla., Wayne County, Mich., and Cook County, Ill., which all have high costs of malpractice insurance.

    <snip>

    Malpractice insurance premiums vary widely from state to state. Florida is the highest-premium state, with an average 2004 premium of more than $195,000, followed by Nevada, Michigan, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Connecticut, Illinois and New York.

    The 10 lowest-premium states are Oklahoma, at about $17,000 on average, and Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Indiana, Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas and South Carolina.

    Many areas of the country, especially around major metropolitan areas, are experiencing large increases in the average costs of premiums. Between 2003 and 2004, Dade County in Florida, which includes the city of Miami, went from $249,000 to $277,000, an increase of about 11 percent.

    In that same period, Cook County in Illinois, which includes Chicago , jumped about 67 percent from $138,000 to more than $230,000. Wayne County in Michigan , which includes Detroit, went up 18 percent, from almost $164,000 to nearly $194,000.

    <snip>

    The reasons for the rising costs in this specialty are myriad, but Ransom notes that a partial explanation is that “everybody wants and expects a perfect baby,” leading many people to sue when the reality doesn't match their expectation.

    Reference: Obstetrics and Gynecology, June 2005, volume 105 issue 6.

    OR says: "And the democrat party enriches itself by obeisance to the trial lawyers."
     
  4. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    OR,
    I agree with you 100%. There is nothing more worthless than an amublance chaser. We have way too many lawyers in this country, and too few doctors. It is funny most politicians are lawyers, as their character goes hand in hand. There is nothing that will cause a collapse of a country so fast as a bunch of people who make a living and produce nothing of worth.
     
  5. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,198
    Likes Received:
    376
    A friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon. He's really struggling financially even though he has a good, active practice. He did my carpal tunnel surgery. :) But his malpractice insurance is $200,000 a year. That's just disgusting! He said in order to pay that, he needs to do no less than 15 surgeries a month so in those months that he doesn't NEED to do that many surgeries (he's definitely not one to push surgery if it's not needed), he's in the red. Can you imagine??
     
  6. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    I have heard there are more lawyers in the United States than the rest of the world combined. Don't know if that is true or not.
     
  7. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    I am not really sure what constitutes malpractice. I do know that doctors make mistakes. My neighbor lost her husband because the neurosurgeon cut out his pituitary gland. Don't really know whether she had a successful suit or not. She told me there were 7 suits against this doctor in the town where I live. Some of his patients think very highly of him but I know he is very temperamental and should not be doing surgery. He is now in Texas.

    That being said there is something wrong with the system when doctors have to pay as much as $2-300,000 dollars per year for insurance. Frankly I don't see how these doctors continue to practice. There is no doubt that if Mediscare reimbursements are cut some specialists will either get out of business or restrict the number of Mediscare patients they see. I heard the head of the American College of Cardiologists? say the other day that the plans are to reduce payments to cardiologists and oncologists by as much as 40%. Haven't seen that in print anywhere but don't doubt it. That means rationing! These are the doctors old people need most. I can tell you that my cardiologist already collects far less from Mediscare than my family doctor.
     
  8. billwald

    billwald
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2000
    Messages:
    11,414
    Likes Received:
    0
    I suggest we go to the British system where the loser in a civil case pays all court costs and atty fees. This would stop the ambulance chasing.
     
  9. OldRegular

    OldRegular
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Messages:
    22,678
    Likes Received:
    53
    Some have suggested that approach here. I would say make the lawyers pay much of the cost since they con a lot of gullible people.
     
  10. carpro

    carpro
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    20,927
    Likes Received:
    296
    The aclu would never go for it.
     

Share This Page

Loading...